Summary of Sit-down with Police Officer with Most DWI Arrests in New York

Police Officer Jason Behar has the impressive distinction of issuing the most DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in the State of New York. The Port Chester Officer had issued 128 DUI arrests in the last year. Behar says that he is motivated to locate drunk or otherwise intoxicated drivers because of the “numerous accidents, some involving deaths.” The Port Chester Police Chief Richard Conway said, “We’re really proud of him, it was a great individual effort.”

When describing how Behar locates so many drivers under the influence, he states there are several “tip-offs” – driving with no lights on, hugging the line, and swerving back and forth. To avoid a DUI, Behar suggests to basically just “Don’t do it.” Adding that taking a cab, an Uber, or not drinking above the legal limit. Behar also has advice for sober drivers – “…. pull over the side of the road and stay away from erratic drivers. There’s an element of danger just being around a drunk driver.”

Behar also notes that Westchester County, in particular is an increasing problem in Westchester County – which he attributes to two problems. First, Behar states that drinking and driving is one of the crimes that is “socially acceptable.” Second, because Port Chester is right on the state border with Connecticut, the city has a “robust nightlife” and the bars closing in Connecticut cause a lot of traffic in Westchester County.

New York criminalizes Drunk Driving under Vehicle Traffic Law 1192.2-1192.4. A ticket for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can occur if the driver meets two elements of the crime. First, the driver must be “operating the vehicle” – which has a very specific meaning under New York law. While driving obviously counts as “operating a vehicle” – other behavior such as just starting the car (and say, falling asleep at an un-moving vehicle) would also count. Basically, if a person is sitting behind the wheel of a car, the keys are in the ignition, and the engine is turned on – the police will deem the person to be “operating the vehicle.” In addition to “operating the vehicle,” the person must have operated the vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Volume of over 0.08 percent. This amount of alcohol can vary depending on a person’s weight, gender, age and alcohol tolerance. Like all other crimes, the government must prove each element – that the driver was “operating the vehicle” and that his or her BAC was over 0.08 percent by “beyond a reasonable doubt.”


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